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UPDATE 1-Washington closes out last big position in Wall Street bailout  

(Adds details on timing of sale, share price movements) WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The United States closed out its last big investment taken on during a 2008 bailout of U.S. banks and automakers, selling its remaining shares in the former financing arm of General Motors, the U.S. Treasury said on Friday. The U.S. Treasury made deals to sell about 55 million shares in Ally Financial for $1.3 billion, which a Treasury official said was organized to take advantage of strong stock prices seen in the last few days....More

Western companies scramble to cope with Russian rouble drop  

By Jonathan Gould FRANKFURT, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Western companies are curtailing investments in Russia, repatriating funds and talking with their banks about currency hedges to protect profits from the falling rouble and worsening growth outlook. Carmakers including Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi and BMW have already dialled back business while others, such as Finnish retailer Stockmann , and Swedish-based furniture maker IKEA, want to stay but are wary of developments....More

BRIEF-Majority shareholder to sell shares of Fota SA  

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Fota SA W Upadlosci Ukladowej : * Discloses that majority shareholder signed on March 13, 2014 preliminary agreement to sell more than 20 percent series B2 shares of the company Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Gdynia Newsroom)...More

Global Recall Covers 288,000 Dodge Ram Pickups  

The successor to Chrysler Group, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, has notified U.S. safety regulators that a loose fastener in the 2005 model-year pickups may loosen and cause the rear axle to lock up or detach....More

BRIEF-Treasury sells remaining 54.9 mln Ally Financial shares at $23.25 each  

Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury: * Says sells entire Ally Financial stake, taking total recovery to $19.6 billion and closing auto rescue program * Says to sell all of its remaining 54.9 million shares of Ally Financial Inc; shares were sold at $23.25 per share, recovering $1.3 billion to taxpayers Further company coverage:...More

Mercedes Recalls Sprinter Vans With Possible Oil Leak  

The recall covers 8,279 Sprinter 2500- and 3500-model vans from the 2014 and 2015 model years with chain tensioner gaskets that may allow oil to leak, raising the risk of a fire or stalling engine....More

Mercedes recalls 8,279 commercial vans in U.S. for possible oil leak  

DETROIT, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz is recalling 8,279 Sprinter vans in the United States because of a potential oil leak that would increase the risk of a fire or a stalling engine, according to documents filed by U.S. safety regulators. Daimler AG's Mercedes is recalling certain Sprinter 2500 and 3500 vans from model years 2014 and 2015 because oil may leak from around the chain tensioner gasket in the four-cylinder diesel engine, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration....More

China investigates executive at Dongfeng's venture with Nissan  

SINGAPORE/SHANGHAI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities are investigating an executive of Dongfeng Motor Group Co , which has a joint venture with Nissan Motor Co , for alleged disciplinary violations, Dongfeng said on Friday. Ren Yong, a supervisor at state-owned Dongfeng Motor and vice president of the joint venture between Dongfeng and Nissan, will be removed from his administrative roles and duties pending the result of the probe into "suspected serious disciplinary violations", the Chinese automaker said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange....More

UPDATE 1-Canada retail sales unchanged in October  

OTTAWA, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales were unchanged in October, holding at a record high as gains in most sectors were offset by declines at motor vehicle and parts dealers, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday. Excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales rose 0.2 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent drop in overall sales after a sharp rise of 0.8 percent in the previous month....More

UPDATE 1-CarMax revenue jumps as easier credit boosts used car sales  

(Adds details, background, shares) Dec 19 (Reuters) - CarMax Inc, the largest U.S. used-car seller, reported a 16 percent rise in quarterly revenue as easier availability of credit helped it sell more pre-owned vehicles at higher prices. Shares of the company, which also sells new cars, rose 8 percent in premarket trading. U.S. auto loan originations in the third quarter hit the highest level since 2005, according to a survey published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November....More
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